ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

Acta Psychologica Sinica ›› 2014, Vol. 46 ›› Issue (11): 1704-1718.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2014.01704

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Passive Mood and Work Behavior: The Cross-level Mediating Effect of Zhong-Yong Thinking Style

SUN Xu1,2; YAN Ming1; CHU Xiaoping1   

  1. (1 Lingnan College, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China) (2 Guangdong University of Technology, Guangzhou 510006, China)
  • Received:2013-07-10 Published:2014-11-25 Online:2014-11-25
  • Contact: YAN Ming, E-mail:


Individual frequently experiences passive mood, a bad internal feeling state, in workplace. However, few researches focused on the negative effect of passive mood on work behavior. As a result, we know little about how to avoid this negative effect in the work, especially in Chinese context. Based on mood-congruent theory and cognitive-affective processing system theory, we proposed a cross-level model to explain the relation between daily passive mood and three daily work behaviors, namly, Organizational Citizenship Behavior (OCB), Counterproductive Work Behavior (CWB) and task performance behavior, at within-person level, and how Zhong-Yong thinking style, a Chinese indigenous cultural thinking characteristic, at between-person level moderated the negative effect of daily passive mood on work behaviors. In oreder to verify our arguments, we collected the data by two phases. In the first phase, participants completed a questionnaire including demographic and individual-level variables. Two weeks later, we conducted daily surveys for daily passive mood and three daily work behaviors, namly, OCB, CWB and task performance behavior. As we treated passive mood as a within-person change, we used an Experience Sampling Method (ESM) to capture dynamic within-person variance in daily-mood and daily-behaviors. Ninty-nine individuals responded to the same questionnare through our survey web at 2 time points on the morning and afternoon each day for 2 weeks (ten workdays in total). At the end of the survey, 72 participants completed the two phrases survey, generating 720 experience-sampling ratings (72 participants×ten days) with a 73 percent response rate. Since our data contained a hierarchical structure in which daily assessments were nested within participants, we used hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) to test our hypotheses. Results of HLM analysis revealed that: 1) there was a great deal of within-person variance in daily OCB, CWB and task performance behavior; 2) Within-persons passive mood had an negative influences on OCB and task performance behavior, while there was no relationship between passive mood and CWB; 3)Zhong-Yong thinking mitigated the negative association between passive mood and OCB. This relation was weaker for employees who had higher levels of Zhong-Yong thinking; 4) Zhong-Yong thinking moderated negative association between passive mood and task performance behavior. The employees who had higher levels of Zhong-Yong thinking had an positive influences on task performance behavior, while the employees who had lower levels of Zhong-Yong thinking had an negative influences on task performance behavior. Our study implied several contributions to the literature. Although abound of studies found supports for the associate between positive mood and work behaviors as mood-congruent theory proposed, our findings about passive mood and work behaviors was not completely consistent with mood-congruent theory. These differences might extend our understanding of mood-behavior relationship beyond mood-congruent theory. Our study also emphasized the utility of individual cultural characteristic in the passive mood management. We found that Zhong-Yong thinking moderated the effect of daily passive mood on work behaviors. It implied that Zhong-Yong thinking could guide employees to pursue the harmony between internal mood and external environment, because it could arouse their self-regulation for the choice of behavior after experiencing passive mood.

Key words: passive mood, rganizational citizenship behavior, ounterproductive work behavior, ask performance behavior, hong-Yong thinking style, xperience sampling method